Darn right prophetic

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Don’t “just say no”;  Say “no” loudly and proudlyimages-4

(Please note: Since I posted the original article below about an hour ago [12:41 p.m.], I was informed that I was not completely accurate.  Since we strive for accuracy, the below reflects the correction).

Last March, we posted the article, CCFT Council of Reps Rejects Dues Increase. (re-posted below).  We were applauding the Council’s stand against the union dues increase.  As predicted, the EB didn’t like that answer so they came back this semester for another one.

On October 31 (good timing), CCFT treasurer, Mark Tomes, sent a memo to the union Council of Reps (pasted below).  In essence, he is saying now that CCFT will implement a pass-through dues increase whether or not the membership votes on it.  That is just what we predicted in March.  Tomes is claiming that CCFT has no choice, that AFT and CFT require the passing on of dues increases to the locals.  I was reminded that the CCFT membership actually voted to approve pass-throughs in the CCFT constitution. I hate to say it, but that was a big mistake, members.  Do you have any idea how much those pass-throughs amount to and what your dues could go up to?   We urge you to propose a change to your Constitution to eliminate that clause.  Notwithstanding that,  there is NO reason for you to think you must have that language.  If you remember nothing else from this article, please remember the following:

In the 14 years I was CCFT president, every year and at every convention, we were reminded of the AFT and CFT “requirement” of passing on the state and national dues increases to our local.  And, you know what? I ignored it every time.  Why?  Because I was trying to protect our local from automatic dues increases every year.  And, I did.

Never–not once–were there any negative repercussions from CFT or AFT.  And, I was a CFT Vice-president for many of those years.  We have been told more than once that local autonomy rules.

During those 14 years, I think we raised dues once–and this group of NAG’s (New Approach Group) screamed bloody murder at that.  What has changed now?  Nothing except the union is close to bankruptcy.

You are also, once again, being lied to by the union. Tomes was treasurer for a good amount of the time when we rejected the “required” pass through dues increase.  He knows that it is not required.  He was part of the EB at the time who rejected the pass through along with the rest of the EB.

He is using that excuse now because the union is broke and desperimages-3ate.

While I am committed to paying a fair share to a union, the union must be equally committed to representing and protecting all faculty and being responsible stewards of faculty money.

Say “No” to any kind of dues increase.  Vote it down.  If the union does go down as a result of its insolvency, what better time to go Independent.


From: Mark Tomes
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:01 AM
To: CCFT Council
Subject: Pass Throughs should be automatic

Council of Reps –

I have been discussing “pass through” language with Shannon Willson, our CFT Field Representative, and examining our Constitution, and I am now convinced that we do not need a vote to implement increases to our dues as a result of increases in our per capita dues from our affiliates (AFT, CFT, CLF, TCCLC). This concurs with what Debra brought back from the CFT training.

Shannon writes: …the pass through of increased per capitas is actually a requirement of affiliating with the AFT and the CFT and supersedes anything that might be in your constitution and by-laws. It is much more than “allowing” for these increases.

Also, our Constitution already allows pass throughs. It says:
d.                            The organization shall be responsible for collecting and disbursing all required affiliation dues, including mandated increases of the American Federation of Teachers, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Labor Federation, the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council, and other affiliated organizations; of AFT-sponsored occupational liability insurance and fidelity bond fees; and all other mandatory fees and dues.

Up to now, I have interpreted another section of our Constitution that says that all increases to dues must be by a vote of the membership, but I see the logic of Shannon’s argument, and our Constitution does support pass throughs without explicitly mentioning it.

Another problem with having the CCFT membership vote on specific pass through language is that if they vote against it (not that I think they will), we still have to implement it, anyway, and then it would be against the vote of the membership, which would not be a good idea. Better to inform the membership that we are implementing it, per our charter with AFT and CFT and our Constitution, and let it go at that .

If you have any thoughts on this, please let us all know. In the meantime, I will tell the Elections Committee to hold off a vote of pass through language. (We still will have a vote on raising the dues to 1.5%.)

Thank you.


Mark Tomes
LD Specialist
CCFT Seccretary-Treasurer
Cuesta College


CCFT Council of Reps Rejects Dues Increase (Re-posted)

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

At its February 28 meeting, the Council of Reps voted down a proposal to put a union dues’ increase on this semester’s ballot.  The proposal was originally declared as passing.

Mark Tomes, Secretary-Treasurer, corrected his error with an email to council on March 3, saying, although it was close, the proposal actually failed.  Tomes went on to say that the Council could take up the matter again this semester.  Or, the Executive Board, “can discuss the proposal at its next meeting.”

Whattt?  So, if Tomes and the EB didn’t get what they wanted the first time, they’re going to do it again, hoping the attendance at Council that day will change the outcome?  Pressuring attendance by “supportive” reps?  Or, failing that, the EB could just do it without the Council.  Council members, what do you think about that?

And, with regard to the preposterous notion of a dues increase, I, for one, have no desire to pay one more penny to an organization that appears to have failed in its duty of fair representation.  A union’s two main purposes are very simple: bargaining and grievances.  WWL sincerely asks someone to enlighten us about one substantive thing this union has done in negotiations to improve our working life.  And, grievances?  CCFT has sent abused faculty to the courts instead of to their union.  Faculty have lost their jobs because of the union’s lack of representation.  And, now it wants more of our money?  This union has taken one of the most exciting, involved, award-winning locals and turned it into a laughing-stock and one of the lowest paid in the state in a short 4 1/2 years.images-1

But, we do say kudos to those reps who stood their ground and said “no” to even putting the measure on the ballot.  Please let us know who you are; we’d like to thank you.  And, please stand firm.

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